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The Godfather, Part II

Cinema Salon

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The Godfather II is one of the most ambitious and exceptionally executed American films, a milestone from one of Hollywood’s great eras. Awe inspiring in its scope and tragic grandeur, it has been hailed as the best sequel of all time, capturing the magic of the first film, yet standing as a unique and complex work. Nominated for 11 Oscars and winner of 6, it brought De Niro (Vito) and Pacino (Michael) together for the first time in the same film, from young Vito’s departure from Sicily to Michael’s solitude, 60 years later.

What’s so special about the Godfather films? Their scale and reach immediately distinguishes them from the generic gangster movies that had come before. The very notion of a three-hour gangster movie would have been unthinkable in the old days. Coppola was influenced by films from the old country: Luchino Visconti’s epic melodramas Rocco and His Brothers and The Leopard: long, dense, rich tapestries that fold together two important strains in Italian culture, neo-realism and opera. In an American context, this was a paradigm shift, ushering in an extraordinary period in dramatic filmmaking that would last until the 1980s.


Guest Presenter: Federico Fuoco

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Far more complexly beautiful than the first, just as it’s thematically richer, more shadowed, fuller. The completed work, contrasting the early manhood of Vito (Robert De Niro) with the life of Michael, his inheritor (Al Pacino), is an epic vision of the corruption of America.

Pauline Kael, New Yorker

Part II took six Oscars and is darker, more profound, and arguably even more compelling for its elaboration of power’s corruption into complete moral decay. Scenes, patterns and motifs deliberately mirror the original, but Part II is more elegiac and rueful and on a far grander scale, with its complex interweaving of time periods and its parallels and contrasts between the two Corleone dons.

Angela Errigo, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die


Cinema Salon is VIFF Centre’s longest running series, almost as old as our cinema itself! Host Melanie Friesen invites a distinguished guest to present a favourite film of their choosing. The evening begins with an introduction to the movie, and our guest will stay to lead a discussion with the audience after the show.


Francis Ford Coppola


Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, John Cazale, Diane Keaton, Robert Duvall

Country of Origin







Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Robert De Niro), Best Screenplay, Best Music, Academy Awards 1975

200 min
Paramount Pictures, The Coppola Company, American Zoetrope

Book Tickets

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Francis Ford Coppola


Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola


Gordon Willis


Barry Malkin, Richard Marks, Peter Zinner

Original Music

Nino Rota

Production Design

Dean Tavoularis

Art Director

Angelo Graham

Guest Presenter

Federico Fuoco headshot

Federico Fuoco

Federico Fuoco participates in every aspect of bringing Italian joy to Vancouver. From 1999 until Covid, Federico’s Supper Club brought entertainment – with Federico doing the honours – and great food to our city. This continues at his restaurant, Gusto, an Olympic Village eatery serving authentic offerings such as scrocchiarella Roman style pizza, pastas, gelato, pastries, all made in-house, along with serving espresso from coffee beans imported from Firenze. He is on the Board of Directors of the Italian Day Festival Society, brings famous Italian musicians to Vancouver and was named Italian Canadian Man of the Year in 2018 for his charitable initiatives.

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